Quinnipiac baseball sweeps Marist in doubleheader


Daniel Passapera

The Bobcats swept their first MAAC series since May 2019 this weekend.

Benjamin Yeargin, Associate Sports Editor

HAMDEN, Conn – Graduate student infielder Kyle Maves had a productive day in Quinnipiac’s doubleheader sweep of the Marist Red Foxes Sunday afternoon.

In game one, which the Bobcats won 7-5, Maves went 3-for-5 with two doubles and a single. Maves hustled on the base paths too, scoring from second on a ground ball twice, ultimately the difference between a tie and a win. In game two, Maves went 2-for-4 and elongated his team-high hit streak to 12 games.

“I love him,” junior outfielder Jared Zimbardo said. “He’s really good in the lineup and he’s always productive … whether he bunts or slaps something the other way.”

His performance of hustle, resilience and leadership encapsulates what Quinnipiac baseball is about at its peak and gave it the 13-9 win in the second match.

Game One

The scoring began in the first inning with a majestic solo shot from Marist graduate student outfielder Brian Hart, which he stroked off of Bobcats graduate student pitcher Tim Blaisdell.

The Wethersfield, Connecticut, native cruised after giving up that dinger, allowing only two more hits across his six-inning outing.

Quinnipiac got on the board in the bottom of the third when Maves doubled in junior first baseman Sebastian Mueller. A ground ball error to the shortstop from junior catcher/outfielder Keegan O’Connor allowed Maves to hustle home and put the Bobcats back up 2-1.

Quinnipiac head coach John Delaney removed Blaisdell after the sixth inning and put in graduate student right-handed pitcher Frank Craska. His first batter was senior outfielder Colin Mackle, who homered to right field on the second pitch he saw, tying the game at two.

Craska walked the next two batters and was given the hook in favor of Ryan Hutchinson.

The sophomore right-hander faced Hart, who hit a ball to left field that hopped in front of a diving Zimbardo. The ball went off of his chest and skittered to what Zimbardo thought was out of play. Hart ran all the way home and after deliberation, the umpires awarded Hart an inside-the-park home run. 5-2 Red Foxes.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Bobcats offense ran smoothly. Zimbardo and Maves singled, Mueller walked and O’Connor reached on a pitch-clock violation, scoring Zimbardo to put Quinnipiac within two.

Senior infielder McGwire Tuffy grounded the ball to third baseman Bayram Hot. The freshman infielder made an error which scored Mueller and Maves all the way from second to tie the game at five all.

A one-two-three top of the eighth gave the Bobcats all the momentum. A Zimbardo single brought up senior outfielder Anthony Donofrio. Coming into this at-bat, Donofrio was one-for-nine in the series so far.

That changed with one swing.

Donofrio swung, bat flipped and watched the ball soar over the right-field fence, putting Quinnipiac up 7-5, where the score would stay for good.

Game Two

Senior right-hander Kevin Seitter started the game by allowing four-straight hits. Marist went up 1-0 via a single from graduate student catcher Niko Amory.

The majority of Quinnipiac’s scoring in game two came by hitting the ball to right field.

It started In the fourth inning, when redshirt junior designated hitter Sean Swenson stayed back on an outside strike and knocked his first homer of the year over the right-center field fence to put the Bobcats up 3-2.

Then in the fifth inning, it was the same story but a different chapter. Zimbardo homered to right center for his first of the day to put Quinnipiac up 5-2, followed by a Mueller single that gave the Bobcats a 6-2 advantage.

“We’ve worked on it all week,” Delaney said. “Guys are playing a little bit more free, they trust their approaches right now and they’re putting good swings on the ball.”

The Red Foxes clawed their way back into the game, with an RBI single from Hot in the top of the sixth and a three-run homer from Amory drew the game even at six in the top of the seventh.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Bobcats went back to what worked: driving the ball the opposite way. Zimbardo hit his second homer of the day to the opposite field, then four batters later, O’Connor joined in on the fun, launching a three-run homer to right-center field again which gave Quinnipiac a 10-6 lead.

The Bobcats consistently showed their true colors today, being resilient and finding a way to win each inning.

“Marist came out and punched us in the face a couple of times early in the game,” Maves said. “But we were able to come back and keep that momentum and energy high.”

Some more offense on both sides, like an RBI single from Bobcats senior outfielder Braydon Seaburg led to a final score of 13-9 Quinnipiac.

The sweep of Marist was the first time since May 2019 that Quinnipiac swept a MAAC series. Regardless of the sweep, the Bobcats are focused on one game at a time.

“You gotta eliminate the past and forget about the future and worry about what you have to do in that moment,” Delaney said. “We’re playing good ball right now.”

The Bobcats will be back in action April 4 at CCSU at 3 p.m.